France: Antoine Dupont rested as Charles Ollivon returns to 42-man squad for Japan series

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

France have announced a 42-man squad to take on Japan over a two-Test series following Sunday’s win at Twickenham for the Fabien Galthie-led and French-filled Barbarians.

The large roster of players features 17 newcomers and four from France’s second-tier competition, the Pro D2, with notable regulars being rested to make way for the youngsters.

Ollivon returns for France

Number eight Gregory Alldritt, scrum-half Antoine Dupont, fly-half Romaine Ntamack, hooker Julien Marchand and props Cyril Baille and Uini Atonio will not feature on the tour as Galthie looks to discover fresh blood.

Players outside of the French boss’ regular Test 23 got the chance on Sunday to show their skills at Twickenham, led by returning skipper Charles Ollivon as they thrashed the hosts 21-52 with number eight Yoan Tanga, full-back Max Spring, fly-half Antoine Hastoy and scrum-halves Baptiste Couilloud and Nolan Le Garrec impressing.

Through resting those aforementioned regular starters and taking such a large squad to Japan – a less fearsome opponent than the Southern Hemisphere giants of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia – Galthie has created a breeding ground for meaningful competition among his fringe players while allowing Ollivon to ease himself back into Test rugby for France.

Couilloud and Le Garrec for instance would be in firm contention for starting spots if they played for other nations, so by giving Dupont the summer off, it allows the duo to attempt to make a name for themselves in the Test arena.

The same can be said for hookers Pierre Bourgarit and Peato Mauvaka who are being held from international stardom by the sublime Marchand. Mauvaka is all too used to this as he plays alongside the France starter for Toulouse in the Top 14.

Les Bleus will fly out to Japan on Wednesday, leaving them with less than 10 days to acclimatise before their first Test in Toyota on July 2. The second Test will be played a week later at the national stadium in Tokyo.

France squad

Forwards: Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon), Dany Priso (La Rochelle), Matis Perchaud (Bayonne), Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Christophe Tolofua (Toulon), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Sipili Falatea (Clermont), Thomas Laclayat (Oyonnax), Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), Thomas Lavault (La Rochelle), Thomas Jolmes (Bordeaux-Bègles), Rémi Picquette (La Rochelle), Swan Rebbadj (Toulon), Thibaut Flament (Toulouse), Sekou Macalou (Stade Français), Matthias Haddad-Victor (La Rochelle), Yoan Tanga (Racing 92), Dylan Cretin (Lyon), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Ibrahim Diallo (Racing 92), Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer (UBB), Selevasio Tolofua (Toulouse)

Backs: Maxime Lucu (UBB), Baptiste Couilloud (Lyon), Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), Antoine Hastoy (Pau), Matthieu Jalibert (UBB), Louis Carbonel (Toulon), Tani Vili (Clermont), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Yoram Moefana (UBB), Jules Favre (La Rochelle), Louis Le Brun (Castres), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Aymeric Luc (Toulon), Matthis Lebel (Toulouse), Rémy Baget (Bayonne), Max Spring (Racing 92), Romain Buros (UBB), Melvyn Jaminet (Perpignan), Enzo Reybier (Oyonnax)

READ MORE: England: Saracens’ Billy Vunipola recalled to squad for tour to Australia

The article France: Antoine Dupont rested as Charles Ollivon returns to 42-man squad for Japan series appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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